here's a question for the social studies teachers

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by megawinn, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. megawinn

    megawinn Rookie

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    Jun 18, 2011

    I just finished my first year of teaching! I survived and even felt like I had a pretty good year all around. Last week was my first full week of vacation and I spent it relaxing. Now, I'm ready to take a look at my lessons from last year and make them even better for next year.

    So here's what I am working with. I teach a tenth grade World Civilization class and we are on block schedule so we have about 85 minutes for class. Most days, the first 15 or 20 minutes are spent doing starter activities, review quizzes, and class annoucenemnts and current events. The next 30 minutes or so are usually either direct instruction, class discussion, or note taking.

    I like to spend about 30 minutes with an activity that reinforces the information from class notes. Some of the activities I have used in the past include scavenger hunts, reading comprehension, making political cartoons, making posters, etc.

    I would really appreciate some new ideas. I'm looking especially for activities that are somehwat generic and could be plugged into different units or used more than once but anythign is helpful.
     
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  3. chopork

    chopork Rookie

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    Jun 18, 2011

    One activity that went over very well during my student teaching (Jan.-May 2011) was having the kids create television commercials or magazine advertisements from different inventions during the different Chinese dynasties. It went over well with 6th grade world history, I'm not sure how 10th graders would enjoy. I really attempted to introduce my kids to public speaking as it is such a crucial life skill that many people have fear of. I'll try and think of some more, but what you have listed seems pretty great!
     
  4. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Jun 18, 2011

    I ask my juniors to debate - usually two sides of a proposition (ie, Patriots versus Loyalists) but sometimes multiple sides, Iowa Caucus style. In that version you have 3 or even 4 positions on a question and the groups try to convince others to join them.

    I think 10th grade history really requires some document interpretation. A lot of teachers use APPARTS or SOAPSTone as the basic template. You can apply it to a ton of documents in Western Civ or World history and it helps students interpret language from the past.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 19, 2011

    Timelines, RAFTS (writing assignments), any kind of graphic organizer, creating an advertisement, writing a diary entry, creating a sound track or choosing a song to represent the material taught with explanation
     
  6. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2011

  7. Teacher_Lady

    Teacher_Lady Rookie

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    Jun 19, 2011

    Is there one of those for American History?
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 19, 2011

    I didn't find any online in one bundle like for World History, but here's her book of American History foldables. http://www.dinah.com/store.php?sort=History
     
  9. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jun 20, 2011

    I teach World Civ to freshman so hopefully some of these will work for you

    *mind maps ~ I know everyone uses these differently so here's how I use them in my classroom. During our study of first civ's, I have my students make mindmaps for each civilization we study with the map laid out the same ~ name of civilization in center with a visual that makes an immiedate connection, then from the center these areas; religion, goverment, economy, social structure, language, and geography. Example, one student wrote Phoneicans floating in water with the "h" as a sail. Students can then take all the info about these early civ's and do something with it; create visual, place info on map, summarize info and create study material. My students really enjoy doing these. Mind maps can be used for many different topics, and units.

    *Before I start my freshman with real debates, we start with silent debates. I have a worksheet that starts with a general statement; "Voltaire was the most important Englightened thinker." The first student must write a complete statement to agree/disagree with the statement and why. The wksht is then passed to another student and that student must begin their statement with "yes, but . . . ." and complete the statement again clarifing their statement. We do this about 6 to seven times then debrief by allowing students to read the entire worksheets and ranking the agruments. I use this A LOT ~ it requires students to think quickly, analyze quickly, rationalize, and synthesize information.

    *there are many simulations out there on the web. I do several; Black Plague, dressing a roman soldier, electing a Roman empire, feudalism, WWI trench, and lots more . . .

    *I use foldables that bandnerd posted ~ they are very useful esp for vocab.

    *I have choice boards that my students complete for several units ~ again google social studies choice board or menus and you should find lots. Here's an excellent link and look at the other content areas for suggestions
    http://daretodifferentiate.wikispaces.com/Choice+Boards

    *my students create collages when we move into more modern history. They also have to include a write-up with their collage to explain what and why for each picture they used

    Hope these help ~
     
  10. chopork

    chopork Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2011

    Silent debates is a great idea! I hadn't seen that before. Your best friend during debates is structure and that just adds another level.
     
  11. anthrogirl

    anthrogirl Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2011

    Oh I love the silent debate idea!

    My classes this year loved Socratic Seminar. I had to do a modified version because of class space and other factors, but overall the kids loved it and wanted to do it as much as possible. I've even had requests to make a club out of it.

    Other activities could be some role-play activities. That might be more difficult with high school, though. I teach 7th, so they like to move and act and make art quite a bit.
     
  12. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Jun 27, 2011

    <<I'm looking especially for activities that are somehwat generic and could be plugged into different units or used more than once but anythign is helpful. >>

    I asked myself why such a thing didn't exist. Then I realized I should just make one. Below is a list of over 50 generic history assignments that can be applied to just about any topic. Hope it helps!

    http://mrroughton.com/Assignments3.aspx
     
  13. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Jun 27, 2011

    Love your website!!! I wish you were my social studies teacher. I surely hated history up until college. :)
     
  14. Teacher_Lady

    Teacher_Lady Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2011

    I have to admit that I use your site ALL the time, especially when I was doing interactive notebooks. Thank you so much!
     
  15. chopork

    chopork Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2011

    Rockguykev Fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing!
     
  16. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Jul 29, 2011

    This is an asset to everybody. You're awesome. Bookmarked!
     
  17. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Jul 29, 2011

    INteacher, when you do silent debates is it one worksheet per group or per student? If it's per group, what do the rest of the kids do while one student is writing their response?
     
  18. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Each student gets the same worksheet and after their response I have them pass them in some odd rotation each time so they are responding to different students ~ front to back; two students to the left, cat-a-corner, etc . . .

    The worksheet looks something like this

    "Voltaire should go down in history as the greatest Enlightened thinker"

    first comment : ______________________

    2nd comment with student name: yes, but ___________________

    3rd comment with student name; yes but __________________

    I have enough spaces for 10 rotations but rarely do more than six or seven. I time each rotation - two minutes. My kids really enjoy this activity and it really gets them thinking.

    If you PM me your email address, I will send you a copy on Monday when I get to school.
     
  19. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Jul 29, 2011

    This is a very interesting idea, INTeacher, and I think I might use it this year. I'm also using a tag-in-tag-out idea I got off the AP listserv. Debate is a great tool, and doing it in these creative ways helps make it even better.
     

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